Women pastors or deacons? Can we attempt to clarify the issue?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    This thread is the direct result of the direction the discussion of Mark Driscoll took regarding his attempted "invasion" of the Strange Fire conference. Criticism arose in the thread of Driscoll's opposition to women in the pastorate and among the deacons of a church. I am not a Driscoll fan, as he is far too well aligned with the charismatic movement for my comfort, but I have to say that his take on women in those capacities is biblical.

    I note that there are rather active member of the board who took issue with that on the previously mentioned thread, and I wanted to ask them to defend their support for women in the leadership roles of the church. Let me start by laying out my own defense of keeping them from the pulpit and from church leadership boards.

    The view that the apostle Paul did not believe women should fill those roles comes from his first letter to the pastor at the church of Ephesus, his protégé Timothy.

    1 Timothy 2, NASB
    12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
    13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.​

    This is doctrinal statement, not the culturally based opinion so many want it to be. Context is everything in establishing the credentials for a verse to prove doctrine, and we easily find one in 2 Timothy. Let's look at the purpose of Paul's letter, to establish the authority for that statement. It is found one chapter after this statement.

    1 Timothy
    14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long;
    15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
    16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. [Emphasis added]

    The issue of authority that we are looking at here is meant to be in the context of the church. When we find a statement declaring the purpose of the right of the author of an epistle or other work found in the Bible to make a doctrinal statement, we need to cling to it and avoid rejecting it simply because it is something we do not like.

    To further support the statement that this is doctrinal in nature, we need to assure ourselves that Paul did teach other facets of church conduct for all in the church: Pastors, deacons, and the membership. A look at a brief outline of the epistle assures us that he did so.

    Introduction (1:1-2)
    I. Charge concerning sound doctrine (1:3-20)
    • Teaching sound doctrine (1:3-11)
    • Thanksgiving for the lord's grace and mercy (1:12-17)
    • Timothy's responsibility (1:18-20)
    II. General instructions concerning the church (2:1-3:13)
    • The practice of prayer (2:1-8)
    • Instructions for women (2:9-15)
    • Qualifications for church officers (3:1-13)
    1. For bishops (3:1-7)
    2. For deacons (3:8-13)​
    III. Advice to Timothy (3:14-4:16)
    • Paul's purpose in writing (3:14-16)
    • Remember the spirit's warning of apostasy (4:1-6)
    • Exercise yourself unto Godliness (4:7-16)
    IV. Instructions concerning members of the church (5:1-6:19)
    • Maintain proper relationships (5:1-2)
    • Concerning widows (5:3-16)
    • Concerning elders (5:17-25)
    • Concerning servants (6:1-2)
    • Concerning teachers motivated by greed (6:3-10)
    • Concerning the man of God himself (6:11-16)
    • Concerning the rich (6:17-19)
    Concluding charge to Timothy (6:20-21)​
    Most churches teach consistently that all these other instructions reach forward from 62 AD into the church of today, guiding us in how our conduct is to be, and how we are to choose our leaders. Therefore, it is ludicrous to try to lift that one "offending" phrase out and claim it was only to be considered useful to the Ephesian church in the first century.

    To clarify further, I don't believe this passage completely bars women from assuming a pastoral position of some sort within the church. It only bars women from holding senior positions, though the passage on deacons clearly bars women from any leadership role on those boards (how can a woman be "the husband of one wife"?) while they may still assume associate pastoral roles under the headship of Christ, through the senior pastor.

    Thoughts, please.
     
    #1 thisnumbersdisconnected, Oct 28, 2013
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  2. agedman

    agedman
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    Hey my brother.

    It is 1 tim, not 2 tim.

    11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    :)
     
  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Yikes!! That's called a brain f-- ... well, you know. Only someone half paying attention could quote the right verse and tag it with the wrong biblical address. D'oh!

    Thanks bro! :thumbsup:
     
  4. agedman

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    I agree that males are to exclusive to the office of "bishop" and "elder."

    However, deacons is another matter.

    Because the service of the deacon is to serve the needs and not a ruler-ship position (or should be), and because the deacon must be married, it is important that they be cooperative in their service.

    For instance, on a practical level a deacon doesn't need to be involved in helping any woman in the church without the wife's presence.

    When it comes to worship and teaching when men are present - the same. They are to be silent.
     
  5. Jerome

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    Odd that you're looking so far away to impose some 'in the church' 'context'.

    Here are the actual verses surrounding v. 12:

    "in like manner also the women, in becoming apparel, with modesty and sobriety to adorn themselves, not in braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or garments of great price, but -- which becometh women professing godly piety -- through good works. Let a woman in quietness learn in all subjection, and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule a husband, but to be in quietness, for Adam was first formed, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, into transgression came, and she shall be saved through the child-bearing, if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety."

    Is Paul suggesting wearing modest clothing 'just at church'?

    Is childbearing an 'at church' activity?

    Adam and Eve?

    This is talking about husband/wife relationship, not churchman/churchwoman relationships.
     
    #5 Jerome, Oct 28, 2013
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  6. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    What's your proof for that argument?

    And it is not going "far away" at all. It's only 18 verses away, and it is in the summary of the purpose of the epistle. It is the explanation for the entire book, and that segment also serves to separate the instructions the apostle gives for the membership prior to that explanation vs. his traversing into personal instructions for Timothy and then his guidelines for appointing or electing church leadership in the latter part of the letter. You're really going to have to do some proofing to be able to show Paul departed from church conduct and behavior of the believer for one brief passage. But let's see what you have.
     
    #6 thisnumbersdisconnected, Oct 28, 2013
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  7. Baptist Believer

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    Or should they just have their heads covered?

    1 Corinthians 11:5

    But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

    1 Corinthians 11:16

    ...But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    These verses are directly related to the 1 Timothy passage. They speak of a woman having an authority over her -- her husband, whose authority comes from Christ. It isn't about wearing a scarf in church.
     
  9. SaggyWoman

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    I think women can do the work of both, in complete submission.
     
  10. go2church

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    The question comes down to whether it is understood that Paul's instructions are once and for all or directed to specific, cultural situation unique to Corinth. My understanding is the later. The example of Jesus and women in leadership mentioned in other scriptures are the main reasons for this understanding.

    Some separate over this issue, though I don't understand how what one independent church does, concerns what another independent church does.
     
  11. agedman

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    This is problematic thinking because it places the authority of accepting or rejecting Scripture and Scriptural principles upon the cultural misfits who would make Scriptures submissive rather than themselves submissive.

    "All Scriptures are given...."

    Christ did not place women over men in any truthful context or factual rendering of the Scriptures.
     
  12. go2church

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    Cultural misfits seems about right when you consider Paul's initial audience.
     
  13. agedman

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    Perhaps "Paul's initial audience" wasn't much different than that of the "modern" societies.



    Corinth was a large city of approx. half a million people.

    The first baptist church of that time certainly had a mixture of folks from many backgrounds, just as the first baptist church of most large cities of this day.

    Folks the principle of women having authority over them is not some archaic thinking.

    It is still pictured daily in the wedding ceremony.


    I've got no problem with women being teachers, nor women having authority, but it is over their own kind and that is Scriptural.

    I cannot find it Scriptural that any woman takes authority over men.

    When it does occur, that women have authority over men in the Scriptures, it is because men are completely given over to wickedness. And God raises women to show how girly weak men have become. Consider Deborah. Even when Barak was told by Deborah to raise an army and lead - he baulked so the glory became the woman's and Jael "nailed" the victory.

    I am troubled by educational institutions who place women teaching men, sitting on juries when a man is being judged, and having voting privileges if they have a father or are married.

    Women rule when men are ungodly weak, and have no true righteous character that brings respect.

    It is never the fault with or of women that they rule, it is always a sign of weak girly men who would rather die for nothing than stand for something.

    Bet this post will crawl all over the BB folks. :)
     
  14. JohnDeereFan

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    Is there a hierarchy among deacons?
     
  15. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Not in the Bible, no. In churches? Some do. Paul didn't describe any, though, and that's where the duties and alignment of the office of deacon are best established.
     
  16. JohnDeereFan

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    OK. So then how do you get around the fact that a woman deacon may end up in a role in authority over a male deacon?
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I don't have to. My church doesn't appoint women deacons, because we prefer to accept the Bible at its word. We have three women in pastoral roles, but all are under the authority of the male senior pastor.
     
  18. JohnDeereFan

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    If you have three women in pastoral roles, then I'm not really interested.
     
  19. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    That doesn't violate the tenor of 1 Timothy 2:12. It is perfectly in line with it, because they have no authority over men. One is director of preschool ministries, one is in charge of benevolence ministries with the participation of the entire church staff regarding helps to the community and individuals outside the church, and the third is the assistant administrative pastor.
     
  20. webdog

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    How do you get around being the husband of one wife who rules his family well?
     
    #20 webdog, Nov 4, 2013
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